These are Bob Roll's 2009 Predictions posted on Versus.com. Just to be clear, no one on our blog made them up, they really, truly are Bob Roll's predictions:
Like resolutions, January is the month for predictions and here are mine:
1.The racing, and I mean all the races, will be as good as it has ever been since the beginning of time. The early season stage races will be hard fought, fair, and give us all a chance to see our heroes back in action. The rest of the season will be the form of ecstatic delirium not seen since the renaissance.
2. This year the Tour of California will feature more than 3 miles of sunshine. The 08 race was contested under a never-ending downpour as if the Winnie-the-pooh-esque black cloud followed the riders everyday except the prologue time trial. And even if the sun doesn’t shine, the glow from Lance’s US debut will shine a bright light upon the whole event.
3. So many people will have sued Michael Ball that he will have to sue himself. Everyone however will be astounded when he finds a co-sponsor to keep the team in the game.
4. Lance Armstrong, and Alberto Cantador will seriously lock horns during the Tour and although Johan Bruyneel will nearly have a nervous breakdown, we will be treated to a teammate clash of titans not seen since the great Lemond and Bernard Hinault dual of 1986. This no hold bars, tooth and nail brawl will be the best tour in years.
5. Team Katyusha will set the new record for most dollars spent on salaries verses fewest wins out on the road. They have no GC men, no time trialist, no classics specialist, and a bunch of fast sprinters with no lead out men. Team Katyusha will prove that deep pockets are no substitute for a well balanced team.
6. Lance Armstrong will win at least one race in 09. It may not be the Giro or Tour but he will destroy the field in the Leadville 100. Lance put himself through the 08 Leadville suffer fest but was narrowly beaten by MTB legend Dave Weins. Sparks will be flying off the loam in Leadville even if it is raining.
7. There will be more Americans in the front group at the end of this year’s Tour de France mountain stages than any other time history. Not only Lance, but Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vandevelde, George Hincapie, Chris Horner, and if he rides, Tommy Danielson all factor into the tour’s toughest stages.
8. Astana will sweep the Tour de France podium. With all due respect to Carlos Sastre, Cadel Evans, Dennis Menchov and much to the chagrin of the French, the Astana riders are the very best in the business.
And finally number nine.
9. The specter of drugs will continue to cast a long shadow over the sport of cycling, but other sports will have to step up their anti-doping efforts. It will become obvious that cycling, regardless of its reputation, is actually the cleanest professional sport, and the most authentic spectacle of any sport in the world.
Do you have any cycling predictions for 2009? If so, leave a comment. I will collect the best predictions and post them later.